December 25, 2016

Another Christmas Day unbelievably almost over. All day I have meant to mosey on over to this keyboard to wish all who enter in a joyous and memorable day. Pesky things kept me from completing this adventurous goal; you know, opening up lovely presents from husband, family, and friends. And having a fine and traditional breakfast including bacon crisped up to its perfect spot, AND walking the neighborhood (we have the best street in Tehaleh and a view of the mountain, so there), AND getting into some new books, AND having another fine and festive dinner meal so, you know, things like that.

Mt. Rainer looms over the neighborhood
..our street twinkles,  yes it does. 

That's one red chair in there!

But here in the perfectly wintry but not icy cold Puget Sound, it has not yet reached midnight, so I can still qualify this as a holiday wish, for whatever holiday you celebrate. I hope this finds you well and content and filled with joy on this day that comes around so fast and goes away faster still.

Bob and I are blessed and we are so thankful to have health, family, and friends, 
and a country we love, despite its potholes, pranks, and pitfalls. 
More than ever we all will need to work extra hard in the year ahead to
speak in friendly tones, practice our values, be an informed reader and listener
of events and news from trusted sources, 
and hold on tight to optimism and hope but
stay ever aware and thoughtful and assertive. Let us not take
anything for granted and let the past serve up wisdom 
for a challenging future and
a test of our strength for a country we all hold dear. 


December 5, 2016

A po-em for you

Today's stash ready for their bags of goodies and mailing envelopes. 

What might Alice have seen in the gardens of Wonderland?
What were the strange, unique, frilly or grand?
Well, a dozen are here for two oh one seven
Do not imagine they are not real. Eleven
of them, though maybe rare, are definitely actual.
Botanically accurate? Specifically factual?
You jest. 
I took artistic license, I confess.
And, what would any Wonderland tea party be
without some unreality?
Yes, one pigment of my imagination.
Can you guess which one? 

(Oh, yes there will be a test.)

In case you missed earlier post, you can find information at the website:  This year's collection is "Gardens of Wonderland."  Flowers that look imaginary but are, indeed, real. Well...mostly. My calendars are prints of original artwork and/or enhanced photos I have taken, combined with digital backgrounds.


November 28, 2016

The 2017 calendar is ready to ship!

Information is over at the website and at my Etsy shop which you can also access from the website. I had fun with flowers again this year...ones that look imaginary but actually exist!  Well, sort of. Mostly. Artistic license taken.

Pardon me if I crow, but with our move and my overseas trip happening in  September and October, it was looking pretty dim for getting this year's calendar out. I had some of the art started for another project, and that's good, because my original plan just didn't come together. I finished all the artwork, then decided to test my skills with digital backgrounds, picking up the manual again and reviewing my downloaded classes. I think I have been learning Photoshop since the Earth was new, but like my French, I am definitely at the Struggle Level. Well, maybe I achieved Struggle Plus. But I also learned how to set up shop at my website where I can take orders directly, and so I am ready ready ready! On to things on my list that have been neglected. You don't want to know.

 I am reading Michael Connelly's new book, The Wrong Side of Good-bye. I though his last one was the best (The Crossing), but this one even beats it. With my schedule lately, I don't get around to picking it up until bedtime but it's so good, I spend another hour reading it when I should be getting more sleep, darn it. Harry Bosch, my hero. Connelly is a so dang good at realistic dialogue, believable characters, and penetrable plots. Like so many of us, I think he's getting better as he gets older. (Eye rolling allowed.) Highly recommended.

November 2, 2016

Home again, home again, jiggly jig

Arrived home to the good ole US of A late Sunday (well, late for me, Paris time!) My day was nine hours longer and felt every bit of it. I am always profoundly grateful to arrive home safe and in one piece, especially after a trip with complexities. I had such a wonderful time on the tour and in my solo week in Paris AND I am also delighted to be home to husband and cats, despite the boxes and piles I have yet to organize as I set up my play rooms!

May I also say I am enjoying watching the World Series at a regular hour and in comfortable seating. No more 2:00 a.m. sleep interruptions. Oh, yes, I know what you are saying. But you are wrong. Yes, indeed, I had to do it. There is no choice in the matter.

I have been diligently working on the 2017 calendar. It will be little late this year (mid-November) but having an unplanned house move and a big trip I could not reschedule, I'm proudly patting myself on the back for having one at all. Thank you, past customers and supporters, for hanging in there. I'll be sure to post when it is available for sale on my web site or Etsy.

Here is a preview page of this year's calendar :  Not Imaginary Flowers: an artistic take on real flowers that only look imaginary.

I had this cookie on Monday and it came to me. Pretty amazing. This cookie was on a grocery shelf in Paris on Saturday and I am eating it two days later over 4000 miles from that shelf. Don't you agree...pretty amazing!?

While I was gone, our built-in shelves were completed so I've been busy finally getting our living room in shape and bringing autumn in. Our trees are bare from the record rain the Seattle area has had.  Rainiest October on record. Glad I missed it: Paris and Seattle are on the same latitude, more or less, and experienced the same climate. While I was there, we had some drizzle and rain but mostly it was dry if not sunny. We did not experience the rain that Seattle has had. Oh, well, all the more green, come summer. Here's a peek at a corner or two of the house that is ready for prime time. 

I love my collection of glass pumpkins. My friend Kay got me started collecting them. The sparkly ones are from Pottery Barn, though. 


October 28, 2016

Paris walk deux.

  House on rue Christine where Gertrude and Alice lived,.

 Had a good night's sleep last game!  Yesterday I walked and walked and walked, grabbing the Metro in a couple of places only. I found some areas I had not yet been ever.  I followed my map and I sought out places where Gertrude STein and Alice B., Toklas lived (the best of the lot that I saw)...Picasso (the worst!)...e.e. cummings...and where Henry Miller, destitute and depressed, took his life., One door looks the same as the other, and time has certainly changed the area, but still, I could see the general idea. And it would hardly surprise anyone that Gertrude and Alice had a very fine place, don't you think. Avenue Christine still seems like a go-to street. At least in my imagination.

I saw lots of art and many people to paint and draw later on.  And sat near a gorgeous young Parisian man-boy who I think was courting a peppy and pretty Parisian girl.  First date? They were having a wonderful time and many laughs.  He was so handsome in a fresh-faced way  I did a double-take at first glance. Oh I do miss my youth.

The best thing for me on these walks is Google Maps. Thank goodness for Google maps. It does not require wi-if but lets me know where I am and what direction I am traveling. A life-saver when one is roaming strange new places and can turned around quite easily with street name changes, as does the City of Light.  Metro signs also save the traveler. Look for the METRO! 

   At Sennelier Art, up on the 3rd floor one gets to by a deep spiral staircase there is a wall of self-portrait drawings by customers.   Mine is the blurry one at the bottom. 

      One can never bypass one red chair.

One red chair?


  Add an S, si'l vous plait. 

Yay, Google maps


October 27, 2016


Yesterday I set out to do several things and did none of them. One of those days when I would start out with a destination and change my mind or run our of time or energy,. But that's okay, too. One point of destination was Sennelier...never made it, but enjoyed a few minutes on the Pont Saint-Louis where skateboarders were putting on a show and lots and lots of people watched in the cool night air. Including this Dad and daughter, I presume.

October 24, 2016

Paris alone...

First, let me say, we arrived back in Paris after a wonderful few days in Provence. We had the rest of the day, Sunday, to puts around Paris a bit. Alas, it began to rain enough to search out umbrellas. I was on adrenalin having been aware since 2 a.m., (what else would a Cub fan to than to watch the game live, France time?). As I posted in FB the previous night...

Absolutely worth the loss of sleep. World Series bound!

I had hoped to share more from our experience but in Provence; the days were full, we were busy, and posting has been a challenge. The Internet may be global but let us just say there is the French Internet and the U.S. Internet and I suspect the Swedish Internet blah blah and there are different rules for each. At least it seems to me. Not saying one is better than the other, but the concept of sitting down each day and uploading pictures and blogging relatively quickly and easily does not exist in my world. That said.,..

Going to try very hard to share my solo days in Paris. My travel buddy Jeannie got on her plane this morning and I am left to walk the streets alone. (One is never alone on the streets of Paris, however.)

My apartment is 275 sq ft, but is just fine for one. It is semi-cute, has enough lighting, an up-to-date bath, amenable kitchen area, Internet and many plugs,  and comfy bed. I would love to get my hands on it and make it cute, which would not be too hard....a small dresser with drawers, a colorful and comfy chair and table, another lamp or two, some posters or pictures on the wall, a bit of paint...The best thing is the location in the Marais.

I have spent the morning unpacking, regrouping, and counting...days, purchases,  Euros, things on my list.

I stood in a corner and did a quick sketch, sort of wonky and VanGogh-like. Trust me. The room is not as big as it looks here!


October 18, 2016

Morning in Giverny.

I liked the water lilies. Really, someone should paint these. 

I liked the forest of bamboo. His pride and joy.

I  liked the flowers of every kind, every color, every size. Flowers so unusual they felt imaginary.


Most of all, I liked standing in the studio that Monet built and painted in. A man who lived a full and long life, engaged in life to the end, a sense of design, pattern, and purpose. 


October 16, 2016

Day 2...

Whirlwind comes to mind. Our morning included a gourmet tour of markets, award-winning patisseries and fromagers (where we sampled the goods), a walk through the 5th arrondissement, entry into a secret passage in the middle of the city that our guide was privy to, and a cheese, wine, and grape stop before we embarked to the d'Orsay lunch and museum. More on that later. Our days are full. And though I have been here often, I found much that was new and all that was fun.

I sat where Owen Wilson sat before the black cab picked him up (Midnight in Paris)
There's a whole quiet community of lovely places to live behind these doors.

A jar of Parisian specialties

Art surrounds us.

Writing my memoir where Ernest wrote his.
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